trailer-tractor drivers

Photo: U.S. Department of Labor

DOL: Tractor-trailer truck drivers at increased risk of injury, death

August 24, 2016

Washington – One out of six U.S. workers killed on the job is a tractor-trailer truck driver, according to a recent blog post from the Department of Labor.

The Aug. 17 post highlights the increased risk of injuries, illnesses and fatalities among tractor-trailer drivers. It notes that truck driver fatalities increased annually from 2009 to 2014 – the most recent years for which data is available. A total of 761 tractor-trailer truck drivers were killed in 2014.

Other highlights from the blog post:

  • Heavy or tractor-trailer truck drivers are three times more likely than other U.S. workers to sustain an injury or illness requiring days away from work.
  • Approximately half of all truck drivers needed at least 20 days away from work to recover from an incident; 42 percent of tractor-trailer drivers required at least 31 days.
  • Injuries from slips, trips and falls were the most common cause of missed workdays, followed by overexertion injuries caused by tasks such as loading and unloading cargo, pushing and pulling containers, and entering and exiting the vehicle.

“We hope that this kind of detailed information will help employers improve conditions for tractor-trailer drivers, as well as empower workers with knowledge about the hazards they’re likely to encounter,” the authors wrote.